Reading List for:

FATHERS TO BE:

* The Expectant Father - by Armine Brott & Jennifer Ash
Good overall info about pregnancy & options around birth. Takes it month by month covering: whatís going on with the baby, what she's going thru, and what youíre going thru at each stage.

* When Men Are Pregnant - by Jerrold Shapiro
Goes into greater depth about relationship issues, ambivalence, and what the  man is really feeling. Lots of quotes from real dads.

* Pregnant Fathers - by Jack Heinowitz
Covers similar ground as Shapiro but offers simple exercises to deal with communication & emotional issues.

NEW FATHERS:

* Being a Father - Family, Work, and Self - Ed. by Anne Pedersen & Peggy OíMara
A collection of fathering articles (by men) that have appeared in Mothering  magazine. Very personal and poignant - covers a lot of bases.

* The Measure of a Man - Becoming the Father You Wish Your Father Had Been - by Jerrold Shapiro
 Presents different fathering  styles and helps us compare &/or contrast ourselves with our fathers. Goes into some painful & destructive fathering and the struggle not to duplicate it with our own kids.

* Fathers - compiled by Jon Winokur

* Sons on Fathers - compiled by Ralph Keyes
Both of these books contain short comments & anecdotes on fathers - many by well-known men. Canít be read without an occasional tear. Men often learn  most deeply from the individual examples of other men.

GENERAL:

* Fatherless America - by David Blankenhorn
Brilliant and disturbing. A detailed & compelling case for the idea that  fatherlessness may be our most far reaching & fundamental social problem.

 

A Poem

The Gift
Li-Young Lee

To pull the metal splinter from my palm
my father recited a story in a low voice.
I watched his lovely face and not the blade.
Before the story ended, he'd removed
the iron sliver I thought I'd die from.

I can't remember the tale
but hear his voice still, a well
of dark water, a prayer.
And I recall his hands,
two measures of tenderness
he laid against my face.
The flames of discipline he raised above my head.

Had you entered that afternoon
you would have thought that you saw a man
planting something in a boy's palm,
a silver tear, a tiny flame.
Had you followed that boy,
you would have arrived here,
where I bend over my wife's right hand.

Look how I shave her thumbnail down
so carefully she feels no pain.
Watch as I lift the splinter out.
I was seven when my father
took my hand like this,
and I did not hold that shard
between my fingers and think,
metal that will bury me,
christen it Little Assassin,
Ore Going Deep for My Heart.
And I did not lift up my wound and cry,
Death visited here!
I did what a child does
when he's given something to keep.
I kissed my father.

More: